Week 6: Monday, September 29th - Friday, October 3rd

Week 7:  Overview


Weekly Notes and Advice

Most students have never analyzed the way Portfolio 2 requires, so it is especially important this week to lay the foundation for analysis.  One of the best ways to lay this foundation is to continually connect the activities in class to what your students will need to do in their analyses (what we call "CSOW" or Connection to Students Own Writing).  Also emphasize that what we are looking for when we analyze are the parts of texts that reflect the authors' values, beliefs, or purposes. 


Connection to Course Goals

Introducing students to a university library such as Morgan Library is a hugely important activity. Students in CO150 gain immediate and practical working knowledge of the essential features of college library research, becoming knowledgeable of the online card catalog, sharing functions between libraries (Prospector and Interlibrary Loan), database searching, browsing of shelves, use of basic reference tools, and that most essential of skills—the ability and courage to ask questions of library personnel.

Sharing topic/issue ideas in class fosters a sense of writing community. Students learn that writers exchange ideas in public spaces and they gain insight from what others are exploring. They also learn that writers can share sources in a collaborative environment as a means to create new texts. This process draws students' attention to other students and away from the instructor allowing for a more comfortable atmosphere - and one that is more conducive to peer review and workshop.

Generating a discussion and a subsequent analysis of the forces and influences implicated in the development of one’s own position on an issue can help students to see that even their own points of view come from somewhere, do not exist in a vacuum, and are full of "bias" and context-connection. Bridging this personal analysis to a subsequent analysis of the sources they find through their research —prompted by the Position Analysis Grid--can facilitate their critical (yet fair) analysis of others’ perspectives.


Goals for this Week

  • Take your class to the library for research instruction if you haven’t done so already.
  • Share topics and issues in class—establish a routine way of doing this for the next several days.
Activity Ideas:  Sharing Topics
  • Collect Topic Proposals.
  • Assign (early in week) and Collect (later the week) Part 2 of Portfolio 2 - the Personal Position Analysis.
  • Reinforce their collection of New York Times articles that touch on issues in the "contact zones" of differing contexts, values, beliefs, etc.
  • Revisit and reinforce the idea about conversations in public discourse.  Remind students that they should researchall sides so that they can become accountable members of the conversation before Portfolio 3.

Activity Ideas:  Revisiting the Conversation Metaphor

  • Discuss evaluating sources for students' research.
Activity Ideas:  Evaluating Sources
  • Help students understand the research process and the expectations associated with university level research. 
Activity Ideas:  The Research Process
  • Emphasize the importance of detailed and accurate annotations in the Annotated Bibliography.
Activity Ideas:  Annotations
  • Prepare students to write a satisfactory Annotated Bibliography that will lead to a solid Issue Analysis.
Activity Ideas:  Working Bibliography Tool
  • Have students start collecting outside sources (beyond the Times) with the goal in mind of having a representative sample of perspectives on their issues and with a set of evaluation criteria in mind that will help them make good choices.  Try to enable students to have about 6 six sources by the middle of next week.


Required Reading and Assignments

Assign the following to students this week:

  • Read pages 573-590 in the PHG about collecting and evaluating sources as well as pages 564-567 on keeping a research notebook and the introduction to MLA and APA guidelines on pages 568-569.

  • Read the sample Personal Position Analysis posted in the Writing Studio.
  • Complete your Personal Position Analysis.
  • Read and discuss NYT articles that suggest dominant and conflicting values and beliefs in the culture.
  • Collect sources for your Annotated Bibliography.


Additional Teaching Resources

The Steps in the Research and Writing Process guide is helpful for students in that it breaks down one version of the writing process into linked steps.  This could be adapted into your lesson plans this week or offered to students as a resource during their research.

The Writing Studio's Writing Annotated Bibliographies guide is a must-see for students in that it explains the purpose and components of an annotated bibliography. It also contains guidelines for evaluating and summarizing sources.  You can create lesson plans from the information provided here or assign it as reading prior to a discussion in class.